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Heavy Heber snow downs power lines, rallies good Samaritans

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Winter storms in the Heber Valley prompted emergencies and closures and also brought out the best in its people.

As more than two feet of snow fell in some areas over the weekend, most everyone in the Heber area felt at least some impact.

Heber Light and Power reported outages all over the valley on New Year’s Day. Trees and branches laden with heavy snow fell and some power lines came down with them.

People shared photos of snow piled high along their roads and around their homes. The Midway Ice Rink closed because too much snow was on the surface to clear. The Wallsburg Cemetery also closed when a tree fell across its entry road.

MeriAnn Boxall arrived home from a trip Sunday afternoon to deep snow and, eventually, a much-needed assist from a neighbor.

“We were working for hours. We had barely made a dent in the snow and along comes this man in a tractor and he's just like, ‘Would you mind if I helped you out?’ and he cleared out the whole front of our driveway so we could get our cars in and out," Boxall said. "We watched as he continued down the road and helped everyone along the way. And for us, we were super overwhelmed and it just made such a huge difference.”

She said the man’s name was Stan Mair and she later learned he has a reputation for helping people.

Bre Gibson said, unlike some friends, she and her family didn’t have to cancel plans. They laid low at their house in Heber.

While at home for the weekend, she also saw heartwarming scenes in her neighborhood.

“Several different times when I've gone out to shovel, the people on my street were all out helping each other, like three different families would be helping," Gibson said. "It's been really fun to see everyone come together and help each other out, especially some of the older people on our street that might not be able to do it as well and even just neighbors saying, you know, ‘I'm running to the store, do you need anything?’”

On Monday night, she saw someone in with an excavator removing snow from people’s driveways.

Elsewhere around the county, others had a harder time staying safe from the weather.

Wasatch County Search and Rescue reported responding to several calls during the storm. They rescued a stranded ice fisherman at Mudd Creek Saturday. The next day, they got a call about four snowmobilers buried in new snow near Strawberry River.

On Monday, Park City local and professional rally car driver Ken Block died after a snowmobile accident in the Mill Hollow area.

Heber City Police Sergeant Josh Weishar didn’t report any major emergencies within the city.

However, he reminded people to keep their cars off the road within 24 hours of new snow to allow plows to clear streets. He said many in the city got trapped in by the snow this time and no citations were issued. In the future, they’ll be at risk of owing a $25 fine.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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